Featured Slider

the sweet gospel study week 4 // Jesus, God in the Flesh

Welcome to week four of our Bible study! Last week we talked about man and his sin, and this week we're talking about Jesus, God's Son who came in the flesh!

this week's video

You can watch this week's video or you can read below for a similar summary. :) Here is the video link if you're in a reader and cannot see the video I'm sharing below.

Jesus is the Son of God.

God called Jesus His Son publicly at Jesus' baptism in Matthew 3:16-17:

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son,with whom I am well pleased.” 

And Jesus said He is one with the Father, and called Himself the Son of God:

“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”  The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” John 10:30-38

John 3:16 also tells us that Jesus was God's only Son:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

Jesus existed before the foundation of the world.

From the beginning of time the book of John tells us that Jesus existed, and all things were made through Him:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

Jesus, the Son of God became a man.

The Bible also tells us who this Word is- Jesus- a few verses later:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Jesus was born supernaturally- we know this from Luke 1:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:26-35)

Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life.

Jesus did what we could never do: He lived a sinless life. He emptied Himself of His status and became a servant (Philippians 2:5-8), being born and placed into a feeding trough (Luke 2:7), then becoming a carpenter! His becoming human allowed Him to experience everything man experienced so He could sympathize with us (Hebrews 4:15), but He did it without sinning against God. He obeyed God in every way, being obedient to the point of dying on the cross as God ordained for Him to do. (Philippians 2:8)

Jesus died and rose again, defeating death.

Jesus gave up His own life, and was crucified on a cross (Matthew 27), buried, and raised from the dead (Matthew 28) so that you and I could live and be reconciled to (or at peace with) God! The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but Jesus died and rose again from the dead, defeating the law of sin and death over those who believe in Him!! (Romans 8:1-4)

Jesus is the only way to be with God.

This is the why Jesus is the One upon whom the Gospel and everything we believe hinges!! If you do not believe in Jesus, you cannot be reconciled with God. Only through Jesus alone can man be saved from His sin.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Jesus is Lord of all, and God has given Him a name above every name! God has declared in His Word that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11) 

For those who believe in Jesus, we are confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord now! We are bowing to His Lordship over everything- even our own lives- to the glory of God the Father. When you believe and trust in Jesus, you are submitting everything to Him, because He is worthy of all of it and more.

He made it possible for you to come to Him.

This is what I long for you to do with your life, because nothing else in this world will satisfy your soul! Jesus invites you to come to Him so that you can find rest from your burden:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
He came so that we might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10), and He gives us His joy so that our joy may be full (John 15:11). It is the best news of our life!

this week's assignment

Over the next week, read Week 4: Jesus, God in the Flesh and complete the homework on pages 45-47. Be sure to be honest with your thoughts, and always ask the Lord to help you understand more about Him as you read the Scriptures this week! :)

If you are interested in reading more about what Jesus says about Himself, you can also read John  chapters 14-17! It contains so much more information than I can tell you here! :)

If the Lord wills, next week, Wednesday, December 20, I'll introduce Week 5 both on Facebook (Live!) and here on the blog, and we will talk more about His perfect sacrifice and why it was necessary for us to be restored to fellowship with God.

Thank you for going on this journey with me!! I would love to hear any thoughts or questions you might have about this week!

goals this week (do, read, learn, be)

Our Monday night Bible class ended last week, so today I'm using the extra time to write! :) We have had quite the time keeping up with life in the last month. :P Looking back, our whole year has been like that too, hahah! But thankfully, many of the harder things that kept us on our toes were worth-it, long-term kinds of things. I don't regret them at all. :)

This week we have a couple of commitments in the beginning of the week and a fun small group party to throw this weekend! :) I'm also about halfway through gift buying so I have a few things to check off my list that I can't share here. ;) Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish this week, Lord-willing:

// do //

clean pantry
organize winter clothes (round 2)
finish chalkboard wall
order presents x 3
buy sugar cookie supplies
plan party game
grocery shop for party
clean the downstairs
make party food
run 3x, weight lift 1x
wrap 7 presents
Sweet Gospel live video on Wednesday (over here)
attend party #2 + bring/make dessert

// read //

the Bible
The Sweet Gospel Week 4

// learn //

listen to sermons x 2

// be // 

full of praise
I find the more self-focused I think, the more unhappy I feel. I want to focus on God and His glory and His wondrous love! He is the reason I have joy! :)

the sweet gospel study week 3 // man, sin, and the fall

Welcome to week three of our Bible study! Last week we talked about God, and this week we're talking about man and his relation to the God of the universe. :)

As usual, you can watch this week's video or read below for a similar summary. Here is the video link if you're in a reader and cannot see the video I'm sharing below.

the origin of man

God, in His infinite wisdom, made man in His own image after creating the earth. We read about this in the Bible, in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. In chapters 2 and 3, we find out that God created man on the sixth day in what He calls "our" image. 

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27) 

This "our" refers to the God the Father, Christ the Son, and His Holy Spirit. We call this the trinity, which we find out more about later in the New Testament. We will talk more about Jesus and the Holy Spirit in depth during this study, but for now, this "our" means that God is three persons in one, unified in power.

man's disobedience and separation from God

Adam and Eve were created without sin, and they walked in fellowship with God in the place He created for them, the Garden of Eden. God only gave them a command to follow: you can eat from all the trees I have given you, but do not eat of this tree:

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

Satan came to tempt Eve in the form of a serpent, and told her lies about God and His good nature. The serpent said that God was withholding the ability to become like Him, a lie about Him and His nature:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)

Eve fell for the trick. Although Adam was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:13-14), he took of the fruit and ate of it (Genesis 3:6-7), reaping eternal consequences for himself and all of humanity: curses, death, and separation from the presence of God with whom they walked in the Garden. (Genesis 3:14-19).

sin spreads to you (and me)

When he disobeyed God, Adam brought the curse of death and sin to all mankind. Through Adam, the nature of sin is passed from generation to generation.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (Romans 5:2)

what is sin today?

Sin is disobeying God's rules. God has set forth a law for man to follow. The Ten Commandments are an example of the law God has given us (do not steal, do not lie, do not murder, do not covet, etc.). Much of that is written on our hearts already, isn't it? But the Bible also says that sin is in our flesh in things like fits of anger, jealousy, divisions, enmity, and more in Galatians 5. And Paul tells us that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

We are all guilty of serious, wicked sin in the sight of God, and because of this sin we are separated from a holy and perfect God.

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2) 

how can we change?

Even in the most perfect circumstances, when man is left to himself, he will sin. We all choose to do our own thing, apart from God, and this is true wickedness. And it is in every single one of us (Romans 3:23). And we can't change ourselves. Sin is natural to us. It is in our very nature, because it was passed to us from our first father, Adam.

the only one without sin

No human has ever lived without sin except for Jesus, who was conceived in a virgin from the Holy Spirit (not from the seed of man!). (Matthew 1:20). And this is the best news, because Jesus was able to resist the temptation to sin, unlike Adam! His perfect sinlessness allowed Him to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin!!

For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)

We will talk more about Jesus specifically next week, but know that He, who never committed sin, took the punishment and wrath of God for your sin so that you could be righteous and clean before God!! (2 Cor. 5:21)

This is the very heart of the Gospel!! Jesus died and rose again and took your punishment on the cross so that you could be restored to God!!

Oh, how I long for you to be restored to God and washed clean of your sin through faith in Christ!

this week's assignment

Over the next week, read Week 3: Man, Sin, and the Fall and complete the homework on pages 35-38. Be sure to be honest with your thoughts, and always ask the Lord to help you understand more about Him as you read the Scriptures this week! :)

If the Lord wills, next week, Wednesday, December 13, I'll introduce Week 4 both on Facebook (Live!) and here on the blog.

Thank you for going on this journey with me!! I would love to hear any thoughts or questions you might have about this week.

the sweet gospel online study week 2 // God: Loving and Eternal Creator

Welcome to week two of our study together! This week, we're talking about God- who He is, how we know, and how we respond to Him as His creation.

As usual, you can watch this week's video or read below for a similar summary. :) Here is the video link if you're in a reader and cannot see the video I'm sharing below.

God is the creator of all.

God is the creator of all things. Because of the teaching of evolution and the science of our age, many reject the notion that God created all things, claiming rather that everything evolved from nothing. But we know from seeing creation itself that someone was the maker of all things. 

If you asked a random stranger on the street, "did that building behind you make itself?", almost every person would respond without hesitation that it had to be built by someone. And if you asked them if a nearby car created itself, they would incredulously reply, "of course not!" 

In the same way we can instantly know a building cannot build itself, a car cannot compile itself from a rusty set of random parts, and dirt in a pile cannot eventually produce a human from itself, we know that the entire, orderly world didn't cause or bring about its own creation. 

The book of Romans tells us that the very existence of our world and the things in it proves that God exists: 

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:20

God's awesome power and his nature can be understood by looking at the things He made! And because we can see them clearly, we have no excuse to ignore God or claim He does not exist or make Himself known to us. Psalm 19:1-4 shows us that all of humanity can see His glory:

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.

Choosing to ignore the authority of God as shown in creation we, instead seeking to please ourselves, God has given much of humanity over to their own desires.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:21-23

When man refuses to honor God, He allows their hearts to become dark and their thinking to become empty and vain and so they have used those empty, vain thoughts to create gods to worship of their own. Never understanding that their "gods" were made from molds and metal, and that these handmade idols have no ability to even move themselves, millions of people bow down to statues every day, even now in 2017.

But God, the true God, made all things, including you and I. He was not created by human hands, or by the invention of man.

God is the ruler of all. 

 God now- right now- upholds all things and is giving you the air that you breathe! He is Lord of all. :)

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Psalm 103:19

God is the Father.

Not only is He the creator and upholder of all things, He is a Father to those who believe through faith in Jesus. 1 Corinthians 8:6 says:

yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

God is the one God and Father of all, and He is a good father upon whom you can fully rely. He is more wonderful than the best earthly father you could ever have! He provides everything you need.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:30-33 

God is love. 

Not only is He creator of all, ruler over all, and a good Father to His children, the Bible tells us that God is love. He is the very essence of love- and even our best imagination of what love means cannot do God's love justice. :)

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

And His good love is extended to all:

The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. Psalm 145:9

In fact, God loved the world so much, that He gave His only Son so that through Jesus the world could be saved!

He gave you life, and He upholds your life and mine, as we speak! And He has invited those who have turned to their own way and live in darkness to turn from their sin to Him and become His children through His Son Jesus! He is offering you the chance to be restored to Him!!

If you are not already, seek Him with all your heart because He is a good Father who has made a way to cover your sins and the wrath and separation you deserve through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus.

I hope and pray that you will seek Him and worship Him and give Him the place He truly deserves in your heart and life. He is worthy!!

this week's assignment

Over the next week, read Week 2: God, Loving and Eternal Creator, and complete the homework on pages 25-27. Be sure to be honest with your thoughts, and always ask the Lord to help you understand more about Him as you read the Scriptures. :)

If the Lord wills, next week, Wednesday, December 6, I'll introduce Week 3 both on Facebook (Live!) and here on the blog.

Thank you for going on this journey with me!! Please feel free to comment or message me if you have questions!!

thanksgiving celebrations + even the chickens like it

We had another wonderful, whirlwind Thanksgiving holiday at our house. Like most of November here, the weather last week was mild and lovely. I think even the chickens can appreciate our Texas fall:

And oh, my runs have been so much cooler now that it's down to the mid-70's! :)

Right before the break we made it a science and painting day:

Then last Tuesday we went grocery shopping, and on Wednesday I sat down to plan the order of events:

I made almost everything I could in advance on Wednesday afternoon, including the baked goods: 

Then Thursday morning it was down to heating the smoked turkey, baking the rolls and pre-made dishes, and cooking the veggies:

I forgot to take pictures when it came time to eat, but it ended up being a great meal with family and friends. We were so stuffed, the adults only ate once all day!

After an entire day of resting, late Friday night we had a return to make (well after the rush!) at Academy. Apparently these puffy chairs were hot items:

Finally, on Sunday we had our second round of Thanksgiving out of town, and I joke that it tasted especially delicious because I didn't make anything but desserts! ;) I loved seeing more family!

Lord-willing, I will see you tomorrow for our next week of study! :) I hope you'll join me here!!